UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — This year marks the 9th year of the Utica Quality of Life Sweeps. It’s an event where Mayor Robert Palmieri would work with the City’s Department of Public Works in efforts to keep the streets clean. The Quality of Life Sweeps occur every Wednesday in the months of April through December (weather permitting). Due to covid-19, the first sweep started this Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 at 12 p.m.

“It’s been by demand. People have been saying, when are you going to start the sweeps? We want to make sure we’re keeping the residents safe and our employees safe,” says Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.

With the help of several city department heads, Mayor Robert Palmieri started his clean sweep on Hopper Street. “Every year we start in a different area, this seems to be a great area that we have. It’s close to our downtown, close to the Cornhill area, high volume of traffic that we want to be not only seen, we want to make sure that the city is pristine and clean as it possibly can be,” says Palmieri.

Just like the previous years, the purpose of these sweeps is to clean the streets. However, this year the mayor really wants to interact with more residents along the way. He says he wants to hear their concerns and questions— that’s why he brought other department heads with him. “A lot of people won’t come to city hall, a lot of people can’t go to any meetings any longer, so this is the opportunity for them to talk to department heads like police, fire, codes, engineering… we’re bringing city hall to the people,” says Palmieri.

Even starting the traditional event late this year due to the pandemic, Palmieri still has a goal. “We want to make people understand that it’s the new normal, but we’re going to do as much as the new normal as we can. Sweeps are part of this administration and it’s part of what people look forward too,” says Palmieri.